The EU signs an international agreement to boost the introduction of electric vehicles

The European Union, the United States and Japan decided to to get a further boost to the introduction of electrical cars with an international agreement. In particular, the partners agreed to closely cooperate on convergence of regulatory obligations related to electric vehicles in the global context.

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Heroin use continues to account for the largest share of drug-related diseases and deaths in the EU

The European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction published its 2011 annual report in which draws conclusions such as that there are over 1.3 million regular opioid users in the EU and Norway. Furthermore, the report highlights that the use of inject drugs – heroin - is declining.

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Commission will adopt measures for an open data strategy

The European Commission will adopt on the 29 November an Open Data Strategy which means a set of measures aimed at increasing government transparency and creating a €32 billion a year market for public data. The measures include a modification of the existing Directive on the re-use of public sector information and the deployment measures such as a creation of open data portals at European level.

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The Second Review Mission to Portugal agrees that the economic program is off to a good start

Staff teams from the European Commission (EC), European Central Bank (ECB), and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) visited Lisbon during November 7-16 for the second quarterly review of Portugal’s economic program. Among the conclusions raised by them, overall the program is off to a good start. However, its success crucially depends on continued implementation of a wide range of structural reforms.

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MEPs propose measures to improve rail services

The European Parliament approved a recast of the 2001 EU legislation on liberalised rail services in which it encourages new rail operators to enter the market and supply high-quality services. MEPs also proposes a regulator to enforce compliance with competition rules.

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The sixth Ministerial eGovernment Conference is taking place in Poland

The Polish Presidency of the European Union and the European Commission are organising in close co-operation the sixth Ministerial eGovernment Conference, entitled "Borderless eGovernment Services for Europeans". During the conference, key European eGovernment decision makers will meet in Poland to talk about the future of eGovernment.

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The 2011 LUX film prize awarded to Les neiges du Kilimandjaro

The winner of the 2011 LUX film Prize is "Les neiges du Kilimandjaro" by Robert Guédiguian. The award has been granted by the European Parliament to this film that questions the injustices of today's societies and their political and trade union conflicts, and makes a plea for tolerance.

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The European Commission in Spain launches a mobile application

The Representation of the European Commission in Spain has launched a mobile application which can be downloaded from Android phones and iPhone, in order to bring the latest news from the European Commission, the EU events and press calls. In addition the European Commission also presented an iGoogle gadget with the same characteristics.

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Parliament agrees to ban the sovereign debt speculation

The European Parliament adopted the new rules on sovereign debt speculation and short selling limitations. According to MEPs, the rules will impose much more transparency and virtually ban certain CDS trades, thereby making speculation on a country's default more difficult. Both law intends have been pushed by the Commission to tackle the financial crisis.

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MEPs approved a resolution which seeks recognise faster professional qualifications in the EU

The European Parliament approved a resolution which ask for a faster recognition of professional qualifications. In particular, MEPs seek to make it easier for doctors, dentists, architects and other professions to work abroad within the EU.

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Regional Development Committee wants to accelerate EU regional funding for crisis-stricken regions

MEPs voted in favour to pay up to 95% of regional development project costs in in Greece, Ireland, Portugal, Romania, Latvia and Hungary so as to permit and accelerate investment in growth and jobs. In addition, the Regional Development Committee agreed that the Member States concerned need to prioritise projects and show that under the current maximum co-financing rates, they could not have afforded to pay their share of the projects.

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The 2000th grant has been awarded by the European Research Council

The European Research Council (ERC) has celebrated a symbolic milestone with the awarding of the 2000th ERC grant. It has been granted to Dr. Matthew Holt, who will join the VIB Department of Molecular and Developmental Genetics at K.U. Leuven, Belgium, in January 2012.

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